Influence of Placental Hormones

Placental production and release of hormones into maternal and fetal circulations represent another powerful means of maternal fetal communication that is responsive to changes in maternal and fetal physiological and metabolic status. For example, increased placental expression and release of placental lactogen during maternal undernutrition is thought to at least partly mediate metabolic adaptations that promote glucose-sparing and fatty-acid mobilization and utilization in maternal insulin-responsive tissues. It is equally likely that placental hormones directly or indirectly modulate fetal metabolic and growth processes, as indicated in recent observations of fetal growth retardation in mice with placenta-specific deletion of the IGF-II gene.[9]

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